In the Hearts of Men

It is also true that we have been given free will; the ability, through thought and action, to choose how we proceed in this life on Earth. She is a living, breathing thing; this Earth we live on. She is our Mother and our responsibility. How do you treat your Mother? What responsibility to you take in her future…our home?

Immanuel Kant wrote:

We can judge the heart of a man

by his treatment of animals.

treatment-animals-kant_meme

Man has been given a marvelous thing: nature. We are its guardians, caregivers…and, all too often…its destroyers.

Free will

It is also true that we have been given free will; the ability, through thought and action, to choose how we proceed in this life on Earth. She is a living, breathing thing; this Earth we live on. She is our Mother and our responsibility. How do you treat your Mother? What responsibility to you take in her future…our home?

Animals and Men

This is especially true for the animals that we depend on and who depend on us. Unless you are a vegan, they are our food. We must be concerned with how they are raised and brought to our table, their treatment will affect us as well. On the other hand, we have domesticated animals that we call pets. From birds we keep in cages to the horses we keep in barns, but especially the cats and dogs that have become a member of the family.

These animals that we have taken out of their natural environment and brought into our homes. Fido and Fluffy should be treated with the utmost respect, kindness and love. All too often, we see stories of abuse and abandonment. This is a reflection of the heart of their owner. For, as an abuser can do this to an innocent animal, so can it be done to anyone.

Have a Heart

There is a current admonition, “If you see something, say something.”

This applies not only to strange or suspicious behavior in public, but also to those things you may see or be aware of through personal contact. We are each others’ keepers. That goes not only for humans, but for animals…as well as nature.

© 2017 DeBrady.biz

Freedom…at the Beginning

In this year of elections, remember that over the last 240 years and counting, We the People of these United States must remain united in every sense of those words…regardless of what the Framers had meant by citizen in their time. They wrote a document that was designed to be embraced by all of its citizens, as an enduring message of hope, peace and tranquility for us to carry forth into all the generations to come.

The Beginning of these United States: A Preamble

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. [source: WikiSource/US Congress,1]

Who We Are

The “We” that the Constitution begins with seems to be “self-evident”, but is it? When the Framers wrote those words, they may have had a very specific idea of who WE are…who they meant by invoking that particular pronoun.

From a simplified explanation…all citizens of the US…to make everything in our country as perfect as possible begin fairness for all, promise that everything in our country will be peaceful, give protection to everyone, care for those in need, make sure freedom and fairness continues for ourselves and all our children and their children and their children and every generation to come, approve of and begin the Constitution of the US.

US Citizen at the Time of the Framing

At the time of the Constitution’s Framing, very few people living and working in the US were actually citizens.

Which ‘We the People’? The women were not included.”[6] Neither were white males who did not own property, American Indians, or African Americans—slave or free. Yet, one by one, these groups were eventually brought within the Constitution’s definition of “We the People” through civic movements dedicated to that purpose. [Source: Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, 2]

Not women, not slaves, not Joe-non-property-owning-public, nor anyone of color. How many people were the “we” that this statement included as of the first Census of 1790 (9 years after its signing)? [Source: Census Bureau, 3]

Residents: 3,929,214 — which included responses to just six (6) questions, the name of the principle householder being the first, here are the other five:

  1. Free White males of 16 years and upward (to assess the country’s industrial and military potential)
  2. Free White males under 16 years
  3. Free White females
  4. All other free persons
  5. Slaves

So, only a portion of the first category, those “free White males” over the age of 16 could be considered as citizens; this number is just over 800 thousand, only a portion of whom would have been LAND owners. Even if they owned their home, they may not have owned the land it was on. Since this census did not capture whether or not these males owned land, let’s use the whole number to find the percentage of potential “US Citizens”…that is less that 5%…and that’s being generous.

Something less than 5% of the residents of the US would’ve been considered eligible to vote or citizens. This is not to say that the Framers were unsympathetic of the rest of those residents, certainly they did. They were, however, specifically identifying a very small percentage of the general population when writing these words.

Patriots and Patriarchy

The intent of the Constitution was to set forth a foundation of what was important to these few Citizens, at the time, as it still is today.  It is no coincidence that patriot and patriarchy have the same root word, loosely referring to father and the implication of the protection a father brings to his family and land.

This country truly has Founding Fathers. Those fathers created a masterful set of documents that, together, have set the tone for the last 220 years.  But, do you really think that we still should mean what those “fathers” originally meant by “we”? Probably not.

Today’s Citizen

In this year of elections, remember that over the last 240 years and counting, We the People of these United States must remain united in every sense of those words…regardless of what the Framers had meant by citizen in their time. They wrote a document that was designed to be embraced by all of its citizens, as an enduring message of hope, peace and tranquility for us to carry forth into all the generations to come.

That is the beginning of…and everlasting wish for…freedom.

NOTE: Source URLs:

  1. https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Constitution_of_the_United_States_of_America
  2. http://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/government-and-civics/essays/why-we-people-citizens-agents-constitutional-change
  3. https://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/fast_facts/1790_fast_facts.html

 

Of Hope and Action

Early writing, circa 1995, not originally titled

(found in a box of old papers and photos, 8/20/2015)

Scott's Cove, MD
Scott’s Cove, MD

Imagine an one-lush green world falling in around its inhabitants, an ecological payback on a grand scale, if you will. Some say that we have already lost the race, that we have raped the land and it cannot be undone. For those of us that believe that the future is something which must be planned for regardless of the present, no matter how apparently bleak and unyielding a picture has been painted, there is hope.

There must always be hope.

Without hope, we might as well crawl under rock and wait to die. The first step the only step, is to develop a long-range plan which encourages big business as well as the individual to do his or her part in following through with a master plan. Given the chance to make a difference, people will make the effort But the vision, the plan, is up to all to contribute to and implement as we are able.

Action is always better than inaction.

Better that we try something now, then wit until all the pieces fall into place and everything is know. As long as we are alive, we will never know everything. It is the delay of action that will invariably spell disaster.

Let’s find a way–and do it!

Announcing: Lost & Found Book website

New Website for my book is now available!

Lost & Found book cover
From the back:
In the process of creating ourselves, we get lost. Lost not only in the confusion that fills this modern, busy world in which we work, live, and love, but also lost as to how to make sense of it all. How can you find yourself when you don’t even know what you’re looking for? The answer is right under our very noses, in fact, it is hidden within each of us, hidden in plain sight, yet hidden just the same.

This book will take you through a personal journey of discovery, from awakening to your inner connection to finally becoming clear about who you really are and why you’ve awakened to find yourself here, at this time and place. Along the way, prepare yourself for some surprises, soul searching and adjustments to a knowingness that arises from deep within to emerge into the light that only you can see. Like choosing the red pill, there is no turning back once the choice has been made; you may choose to fall back asleep, but you can never return to the place that you first began.

This is a process of unification, of soul, mind, body and spirit. You are about to discover for yourself what truth means to you, and you alone. For while we venture down this road together, each journey is as unique as you are. You were put here to be uniquely, perfectly you.

What has been lost will be found—and it’s you!

via lostnfoundbook.

Revisiting Elena Undone

It’s funny that you can never predict which posts will garner the most hits…for one reason or another, that turns out to be “Love Wisdom from Elena Undone“.

It was a “little” film with an unconventional perspective on learning that one is really gay, or at least bisexual…and about love in general. One of those words of wisdom was about how unpredictable love can be…and how that love can come in very surprising packages.

I’d love to hear from my readers on whether you watched the actual movie (available streaming on Netflix) and if you did, what you thought of its underlying message about love.

On a personal note, I started out July doing so well…publishing new blogs or at least reblogging when I was lazy. Then I realized that I haven’t done either in over a week! I should add that I’ve started back to work and getting back into that grove has been interesting.

Promise: More blogs in August…personal truths and sharing! Thanks for “listening” to my raves and rants!

Bundling: The Copyright Way

Legal Matters That Matter to Writers

by Professor Tonya M. Evans

(Contact Professor Evans at Legal Write Publications, info@legalwritepublications.com or http://www.legalwritepublications.com; The information contained in this column is for general informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you need advice regarding a specific legal matter, consult a lawyer as each case is fact-specific.)

If you have created an original literary or artistic work in some tangible form – in writing or on film or tape or canvas, for example – then you don’t have to do anything. You automatically own a copyright in your work.

Rights? What Rights?

What rights do I have if I own a copyright? Copyright is not one right but actually a bundle of rights. In general, the law gives a copyright owner the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following:

  1. Copy the work
  2. Prepare derivative works based on the original
  3. Distribute copies of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending
  4. Publicly display
  5. Publicly perform

From the June 23 Book Marketing Tips and Info Newsletter, subscribe at: http://www.bookmarketingworks.com/mktgmattersnews/

Infographic by DeBrady.biz 2014

What my Daddy Made in 1967

Inflation Calculator: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Just for grins, I thought, wonder what kind of salary my dad would’ve had to make today to buy the lifestyle I enjoyed as a kid?

So, I looked it up on the BLS website.

12,000 in 1967 has the same buying power as $85,473.05 in 2014
CPI Inflation Calculator

I’m not sure of the exact amount, but for reference, I’m pretty sure he made around $12,000 per year when he was promoted to the head office of Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, New York. My parents chose a suburban house in one of the best school districts available, Brighton. The three-bedroom, one and a half bath house that my mom still lives in almost 50 years later was just under $25,000 and considered a little above what they could afford. But, they bought it anyway.

Life Changes

A little over two years later, my dad was dead at age 42. He left behind a non-working wife and four kids, ages 4 to 10. He told my mom that she wouldn’t be able to keep the house for what must have seemed logical reasons including no real income coming from my mom. Well, she proved him wrong and managed to stay in a neighborhood of doctors, lawyers and junior VPs. Most of those original neighbors have moved away or died, but my mom remains to this day.

The question that started this writing was, how well am I doing compared to my dad? Could I have supported a family of six on what I make? That’s a difficult question to answer. However, based on BLS’ numbers, it’s doubtful that “I” or any single-income family could make duplicate that feat. Seems like $85,473.05 a year is well above the average male breadwinner of today brings home about $51,000 (if the breadwinner were a woman, she’d bring home about $39,000).

Fast Forward to 2014

On that basis, the house I grew up in would cost around $178,000 and be far above the reach of Joe-average. If I could take the salary I make in the metro DC area back to my hometown, I could buy most of the houses there; however, it’s unlikely that the income I can make here would be the same in Rochester where houses are cheaper by half than the average near my work.

As I am not married and have no children to support, I live comfortably, but don’t own a house. It’s interesting to consider that both of my sisters’ families have dual-breadwinners and both own modest suburban homes with decent school districts. I’m not sure that I would have been able to support a family of my own with what I’ve lived on over the years, but perhaps the responsibility of “little mouths to feed” would have been an incentive to buckle down and stay somewhere else. Somewhere where the housing and schools are decent and the pay adequate to raising said-family.

Gratitude

All this makes me feel grateful that I didn’t have to raise a family in today’s economy. Certainly, the lifestyle of my childhood would have been very different. Still, I am grateful that life has been good to me and my siblings, even with the challenges that come with that life.

Daddy would have been proud.

About the CPI Inflation Calculator

The CPI inflation calculator uses the average Consumer Price Index for a given calendar year. This data represents changes in prices of all goods and services purchased for consumption by urban households. This index value has been calculated every year since 1913. For the current year, the latest monthly index value is used.

via Inflation Calculator: Bureau of Labor Statistics.